SEYMOUR, Conn. (AP) -- A 56-year-old woman who was found living in filth had been held captive for years by her brother in dungeon-like conditions inside their Connecticut home, police said Friday.
The frail, malnourished woman was covered in urine and human feces when police conducting a welfare check found her Thursday night, according to Paul Satkowski, deputy chief of the Seymour police. A lock was on the outside of her bedroom door and the room’s windows were blacked out with paint.
The woman’s brother, Arthur Gauvin, 58, was arrested and charged with unlawful restraint, reckless endangerment and cruelty to persons. The brother and sister lived in the same house with other relatives, including children. Satkowski said Gauvin was responsible for his sister’s care and his motive was apparently related to a desire not to lose the house to the state.
Gauvin was being held on $25,000 bond. A phone number listed for the home was disconnected and it was not immediately clear whether Gauvin had an attorney.
The woman was taken to a hospital for treatment and evaluation.
Police went to the house after an anonymous caller expressed concerns about the woman’s welfare. Once inside, officers found the smell so overwhelming that they evacuated the house. The scene was processed by a detective with a hazmat suit and a self-contained breathing apparatus.
Gauvin was initially released after posting a $20,000 bond. Police said he was arrested a second time after making a threatening comment to a family member and charged with tampering with a witness.